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Follow Your Dream, Day #545: Michael Flatley Addresses Team Lord Backstage

When you become a part of Lord of the Dance, you're not just joining a legendary billion-dollar dance show; you're joining a family.

The Covid-19 pandemic brought performing arts to a halt worldwide nine months ago. No one thought there would be any sort of touring activity for the remainder of the year. But in a surprise twist to the story, Michael was able to arrange something very special: a #FeetOfFlames stadium tour in Taiwan.

It's a big deal when Feet of Flames is brought out. Originally staged as a one-time-only performance in London's Hyde Park in 1998, Feet of Flames was later adapted into a world tour in 2000-2001, and has been brought out only on rare occasion in the decades since then. A massive stage set with a huge cast of more than ninety performers, Feet of Flames is carrying the flag for the entire #IrishDancing industry right now: a shining beacon that says life *will* return to normal, that there is hope on the horizon.

The logistics involved in touring such a large group are no small matter, and this particular tour is unique. Taiwan has done a brilliant job of containing the pandemic, making it safe for Team Lord to tour there. Nevertheless, to ensure that safety, the troupe had to quarantine individually in hotel rooms for two weeks immediately upon landing. Rehearsals, workouts, and drills were held over video conference calls.

After safely exiting quarantine in compliance with all regulations, Team Lord had only 72 hours until its first show. Just 72 hours to rehearse as a group onstage. Michael Flatley shows are known for their intricate formations and choreography; *only* the best Irish dancers in the world qualify for it -- and even then, what would normally be weeks of rehearsals were condensed into two-and-a-half days.

The hours were incredible. The drilling was nonstop. And every single person involved gave it their all, grateful for the opportunity to do what they love on the biggest stage imaginable at a time when touring shows have almost entirely gone dark.

On opening night, shortly before showtime, Michael personally contacted his performers backstage and congratulated them on achieving the impossible. No Irish dance troupe in history had ever faced such unique challenges -- and in the true spirit of Lord of the Dance, they succeeded when all the odds were stacked against them, just as the original show succeeded against all the odds in 1996 when Michael put it together in only ten weeks.

Michael dubbed the Feet of Flames 2020 troupe the Lord of the Dance All-Stars, and indeed, that is what they are. They have achieved the impossible. At the time of this writing, Team Lord has completed five Feet of Flames performances in only 48 hours, all to massive and wildly enthusiastic audiences in huge venues. And there is more to come.

After nine months of forced inactivity, Michael Flatley's Feet of Flames is finishing the year on a high note for many incredible Irish dancers as well as their families and dance schools, bringing joy to tens of thousands of people in a very short span of time. It is a portent of things to come.


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